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Lenaribka

Lenaribka

"We should read to give our souls a chance to luxuriate."

 

~Henry Miller

Currently reading

Operation Rubikon
Andreas Pflüger, Merlau, Günter
The Future Won't Be Long
Jarett Kobek
A Short History of Nearly Everything
William Roberts, Bill Bryson
The Power of One
Humphrey Bower, Bryce Courtenay
The Romanov Mission
Robert Jackson
Goliath: A Thriller
Gary Waid, Shawn Corridan
Last Days of Summer
Steve Kluger
And the Band Played On
Randy Shilts, Victor Bevine

Gifts Given

Gifts Given - Marshall Thornton
imageGiven what I’ve seen, given what I’ve lived, it strikes me that love is a kind of madness. An insanity that poses as a necessity, tricking us into believing we need it as much as breath, as much as life itself. A sensible man would run from it, bar the doors, hide in a cupboard like a child, rifle through the kitchen drawers looking for a weapon to stave it off. A sensible man would have nothing to do with love. I am not a sensible man.image


It is the opening lines, and yes, this installment is inspired by love. Even if it is not THAT obvious at the beginning. Though it is difficult NOT to notice it later. LOVE is a central thread woven throughout the whole book.

Nick is in LOVE. Though I still haven't got warm with Joseph, it is fascinating to see how good the ex-priest adapted himself to his new live outside the church, to his new surroundings, to Nick's friends. And HOW quickly Joseph changed Nick! I honestly didn't even imagine something like THIS would EVER happen. There are 4 years between the first book and the last one. And totally different Nick: he has settled down, becomes a TV shows expert (he didn't even have a TV all this time!) and listens to piano music (he has a good taste though), and he quit smoking (because Joseph doesn't like it). No doubt, he becomes a better person, but I am still trying to find out how to deal with this fact. It is why I was fluctuating between 4 and 5 stars, but the writing is so good, and the story is so captivating, so 5 stars it is. But I am wondering (and somehow afraid), if the reason for changing in Nick character could be explained with Marshall Thornton's consideration to come slowly to the end of the series??!! NOOOO!
Nick, Joseph and Ross live in a tiny one-bedroom apartment (with a couch in a living room for Ross) with a great view on Lake Michigan. It is Christmas time, and Nick plans to invite Mrs. Harker to spend Christmas with them together that could become a very difficult task. She still doesn't know that Joseph is Nick's boyfriend.

Though Nick won't have enough free time to find Christmas gifts for his friends. At first his long-time friend Sugar asks him for a favor. She is also in LOVE and she wants Nick to make a standard background check on her lover. At the same time his old client Vincent Renaldi urgently needs his service as a PI for a very delicate case. And what a surprise - again this L word. Yes, people in love could do crazy things, sometimes illegal things, and criminal things if they have enough criminal energy. The job that seems very easy at the beginning turns out to be very dangerous at the end. At this place I shut my mouth. I am not going to give anything away.

The final lines frame the whole story in the Boystown number 10 PERFECTLY (and yes, Marshall Thornton is the best writer of ENDINGs):

imageLife is pain. Life is danger. Life is love. There have been times when I have hidden from life. It didn’t work. Life found me. Love found me. Try as I might, I could not hide.image







***Copy provided kindly by the author in exchange for an honest review***

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The Rose and the Thorn

The Rose and the Thorn - Michael J. Sullivan imageAudibleheadphones_icon_1


[a:Tim Gerard Reynolds|4132657|Tim Gerard Reynolds|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1370714999p2/4132657.jpg] is a suuuuper narrator!

And Michael J. Sullivan knows EXACTLY how to entertain his readers.

A fairy suspense-packed tale for big girls (and boys).

Thrilling, enjoyable and simply good.


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With a very high addictive potential. I know, I become a little repetitive but it is the best way to express my feelings.

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The next sequel please!!!

Kill Game

Kill Game - Cordelia Kingsbridge My second book by [a:Cordelia Kingsbridge|5781497|Cordelia Kingsbridge|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1381577348p2/5781497.jpg], and I am glad I decided to give this author one more chance. Now I can say, I got what all the fuzz is about: it was good written, it was HOT, it was suspenseful, it wasn't boring. And there is one more fact that is very important in romance mysteries for me, yes even if we have some corpses along the story - the author made me grin, and even laugh.

I really enjoyed the dynamic between Dominic and Levi, they are very different, that is also contributed by their family's background: Levi is Jew and Dominic has Italian roots.

I can say, the both got my full attention, and I am looking forward to the next book. Well, of course not only because I want to know how their relationship will be developed further, but also because I'd like to know who IS this serial murderer. It is a bit unusual for a mystery book not to solve the case and prolong it into the next installment. But it could be an interesting twist, since our two boys HAVE to work together on this case, but at the same time agreed to start slow on the private side, because Levi needs time to process the separation from his boyfriend of two years, and Dominic doesn't want to be ONLY a means to an end.

There is one more character that I like especially - Rebel, image Dominic's Shepard-Rottweiler mix that could play a Tibetan Mastiff if needed.

All in all: a very promising start for a new series.


***Copy provided kindly by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***

The Crown Tower: The Riyria Chronicles, Book 1

The Crown Tower: The Riyria Chronicles, Book 1 - Michael J. Sullivan, Recorded Books LLC, Tim Gerard Reynolds imageAudibleheadphones_icon_1

4,5 stars

I'm normally not a fantasy reader. But I heard a lot about this book, and when I read the blurb, it just took hold of me:

TWO MEN WHO HATE EACH OTHER. ONE IMPOSSIBLE MISSION. A LEGEND IN THE MAKING.

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I know, I read too many MMs, it is why TWO MEN... has a different meaning for me. But actually, this book could have been a starter for a MM fantasy series. But it is not, I know.


Great characters, very entertaining and brilliantly told tale (an excellent narrator too) with a high addictive potential.

No way I'll stop here. NO WAY.

The Viscount and the Witch

The Viscount and the Witch - Michael J. Sullivan
Not really got the idea of this EXTREMELY shot thing.
You can skip it. Or you can read it if you can get it for free.

The Cockroaches: The Second Inspector Harry Hole Novel (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard Original)

The Cockroaches: The Second Inspector Harry Hole Novel (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard Original) - Jo Nesbø
I don't know how Harry could put all these puzzle pieces together, and found out WHO it was and even more astonishing HOW this person(I on purpose don't use personal pronouns, not to give away anything) DID it. And a fleeting thought about (WHY DID this person do it in THAT DAMN COMPLICATED way) crossed my mind AFTER I learned HOW everything was implemented. Doesn't matter, I couldn't put it down.
It was a thrilling read, and educational too.

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The second book in Harry Hole series is set in Thailand. A nice contrast to the first book set in Australia. What can I say?
I'm longing for a setting in Norway now.

And I can't wait to reading my next Harry Hole.

Of course in the same great company.
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BR with Sofia and Alona.

The Destroyers

The Destroyers - Christopher Bollen
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[a:Christopher Bollen|3899035|Christopher Bollen|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1433586044p2/3899035.jpg] is a proof of reincarnation for me.
Long live F. Scott Fitzgerald!

What an EXTREMELY talented author! What a luck to come across his books! What a pleasure to devour his exceptional prose!

[b:Orient|22693249|Orient|Christopher Bollen|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1412100016s/22693249.jpg|42205807], his second book, blew me away.
His third book [b:The Destroyers|32600399|The Destroyers|Christopher Bollen|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1482038978s/32600399.jpg|53180981] put his name on the VERY TOP of my AUTO-BUY-AUTHORS. This author is a REASON why I love reading so much.












The Woman in Cabin 10

The Woman in Cabin 10 - Helen Ruth Elizabeth Ware, Imogen Church imageAudibleheadphones_icon_1

DNF at 40%

One of the most annoying female protagonists I EVER read. She is either in a "I'm sooo tired" or too drunk or too panicked or too stupid condition.

One of the most unpleasant female narrator's voice I listened to. Maybe because I COULDN'T stand the main protagonist any longer. But these two made a perfect couple. Meh.

All in all - I can't recommend it as an audio book. Actually I can't recommend this book at all.

Tobacco Sun

Tobacco Sun - Lorna Hollifield

A psychological thriller set in 1947, mysterious and puzzling, with a big potential that unfortunately lost me toward the end.


A promising debut novel, but not without complaints.

The Plot:

Giving in to the pleas of her half-sister, Sydra Parramore, a rising Hollywood star, who left her hometown long ago and has never returned since then, comes back to Tobaccoville, to attend the funeral of her mother. Jimmi-Lyn is the complete opposite to her famous half-sister, not only she has nothing similar to her celebrity sister’s character, but she is also not a beauty her sister always has been. People say she was born cursed, with a birthmark across the right side of her face.

After the funeral, something awful happens: within 36 hours of Sydra’s arrival in town, the famous actress has been charged with murder.

A reader knows nothing at the beginning, but it is clear that the answers lie in the past. How did the childhood of the both sisters look like? How the past did influence a life course of each of them?
What DID happen after the funeral? What is the role of Vanse, a war veteran and their childhood friend?

Numerous POVs in the story give the readers a different perspective of the events in the past as well as in the present: Jimmi-Lyn, Sydra, Vanse and Dr.Garris, a psychologist, whose task is to give an expert opinion to the mental condition of his patient and possibly help her to avoid a life in prison and maybe even the death penalty.

Final thoughts:

A thrilling story, stirringly told, well-structured and in a way pretty captivating. Up to approx. 70%.

As the case began to get more distinct outlines and clear contours the whole magic of the story started to crumble for me. At the end I felt the way more like “deceived” and “tricked”. The magic of the characters faded away, their backgrounds and actions felt implausible and the resolution sunk in clichés. A first class psychological thriller turned into a lousy movie with a poor casting. What a pity.

5 stars for the first part of the book. 1 star for the final third.


***Copy provided kindly by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***

Kontrollverlust: Wer uns bedroht und wie wir uns schützen

Kontrollverlust: Wer uns bedroht und wie wir uns schützen - Thorsten Schulte
DNF at p.90

Nichts Neues.

St. Nacho's

St. Nacho's - Z.A. Maxfield imageAudibleheadphones_icon_1

DNF at 80%

Awful.
I couldn't take it anymore.
Not even with x2 playback speed (just to finish it as quick as possible).

The Bat

The Bat - Jo Nesbø, Don Bartlett



Believe or not, but you can benefit from being late for the party:

One month ago I didn't know about the existence of the internationally acclaimed mystery writer from Norway Jo Nesbø and wanted immediately to read more by this author. That means I HAD to start with his Harry Hole series.
And here I faced a dilemma: should I start from the VERY beginning or just skip the first two books like many reviewers and established fans of the author advised to? If you don't know why you should/could do it - the first two books were published in English much later, and the most readers read them also after they became fans of Harry Hole series. And...many didn't like them as much as the other installments.

I decided to read the series in chronological order. And I'm GLAD I did it.

It is just logical to read a series in the RIGHT ORDER. And to be late for the party means here: YOU CAN READ it in the right order. Because you can do it. You have all books released. Not a publisher decides which book you DARE to read first, but you. Only you.

And now to Harry.
He GOT all my attention. He is a character I can imagine to stick with. He has it. Sensitive, smart, loyal, emotional and vulnerable something I seeking for. He has a potential to become one of my favorite characters in the genre. He is not perfect, he is...not perfect.

An excellent mystery. Up to...the moment when my other favorite character in this book suddenly disappeared in a strange way. I have to admit, the murderer was rather constructed than logical. An Aboriginal boxer turned into a computer expert? And Andrew KNEW it?! No, sorry, I don't buy it. Well...And I had to question some police methods. It actually DID ruin A BIT a whole story for me.

BUT, all in all, I was emotionally so connected to the characters, to this case, to the writing, to the environments, to this melancholic Nordic way of telling that all I think about now (with a great excitement) are already existed in total 11 books in the series. And the fact that I was AFRAID to read my next Jo Nesbø seemed to be just ridiculous.

If you have never read ANYTHING by the author, read first his [b:The Son|19101283|The Son|Jo Nesbø|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1390177620s/19101283.jpg|24342394], and then...start this series in chronological order.

Let me introduce you to my Harry Hole:

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***A thrilling BR with my girls- Alona and Sofia! image

Goodbye Paradise

Goodbye Paradise - Sarina Bowen, Teddy Hamilton, Dake Bliss imageAudibleheadphones_icon_1




I got this audio book as a gift and to tell the truth, I didn't even check what this book was about when I started it. According to the title I assumed it was a holiday MM romance, where two MCs got to know each other during their vacation on an exotic island. Yes, if you know me, you'll understand what I mean.

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But who wants to look a gift horse too closely in the mouth?

Now I have to confess - I'm glad I listened to it and this book positively surprised me in many ways:

image I avoid ON PURPOSE books with organized religion. And even if I pick up the one, because I got tempted by all the excited reviews, it is very often a DNF case for me. It is so faaaar from my views of life!. These books make me not just sad, but mostly angry: I loathe all servants of God who uses religion as an instrument to gain their benefit and for lobotomizing helpless people. [b:Goodbye Paradise|34198964|Goodbye Paradise (Hello Goodbye, #1)|Nealy Wagner|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1486542431s/34198964.jpg|44640142]
image Though it is one of a few books with a organized religion topic that I actually enjoyed. Probably because the colony's every day life was not a man focus of the story, but only as a starting point of it.


image I am not a fan of a changing POV. To take two different narrators to present the story was a big risk. I can imagine that some listeners could have problems with this audio-book.

image but I found it nicely done. And my initial thoughts (WTF?!WHY FGS?!) faded away as the story proceeded.


image I don't like kids in my MM romance books. More even I don't like to read about a couple that wants to have babies. To read about a VERY YOUNG couple having this conversation is even more weird.

imageBut it matches the story-line here. And it harmonized with the character of Joshua. It was touching how he could handle a child, he is a natural born child carer. And even if I had some eye-rolls moments on this case, I totally bought it.


image I don't enjoy extensive sex scenes. I swear, I did it when I first started to read MM romance. It was so new and fascinating- detail sex, what could be better? An interesting plot of course. This book HAS for my test too many extensive sex description and too many dirty talks for those two sex-newbie.


imageBut thank God, it is also a story here, and though I could forgo erotica aspect here, I can live with it.


And strangely enough, it all fits together.
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All in all, it is a sweet full of heart and hope, enjoyable romance with a satisfying HEA.

There is one more thing I'd like to mention in my review:
We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded by negative news from every angle.

But

imageThe world is much better than we think.
imageThere are so many wonderful people who can help when we need help.
imageWhat an amazing progress people make when they are allowed to be free.

The Eight Mountains

The Eight Mountains - Paolo Cognetti I haven't read anything by Fredrik Backman, but I can't recommend this book to fans of Elena Ferrante, not sure about Paulo Coelho though (considering the blurb).

Actually the comparison with Elena Ferrante drove me to request an ARC.

It is a very slow, melancholic, partly emotional, partly dull (I'm trying to avoid the word boring, because it doesn't do the novel justice, but it is partly very close to my feeling), with beautiful deserted landscapes (mountains) and characters that are out of touch with reality (mountains men in heart and soul).

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Maybe because I read a lot of gay fiction, I was longing for those two men become more than just two friends. Up to the very tragic end. In vain. No, I'm not totally convinced here. There were for sure more between them, but we'll never know...

What a strange book! Sad and strange...And in a strange way strangely captivating...


***Copy provided kindly by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***

Stealing Home

Stealing Home - Tom Mendicino I don't think that Tom Mendicino planned [b:KC, at Bat|17831877|KC, at Bat|Tom Mendicino|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1366404121s/17831877.jpg|45861326] to become a trilogy. I remember that I was absolutely thrilled and overjoyed when I found out that his next book [b:Travelin' Man|24871161|Travelin' Man|Tom Mendicino|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1423410535s/24871161.jpg|45861328] was a sequel to it. And I can't even explain you my excitement when [b:Lonesome Town|26118544|Lonesome Town|Tom Mendicino|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1439840803s/26118544.jpg|46065656] was released. It was like a big great surprise when you expected it the less.

[b:Stealing Home|33450919|Stealing Home|Tom Mendicino|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1482139082s/33450919.jpg|54211762] is a wonderful edition that presents all three novels as a one full-length novel of three parts. And I can't get tired recommending it to you.

I can only quote KatieMc, "damn, I love this author."

My reviews to:

KC, at Bat
Travelin' Man
Lonesome Town

Damage Control

Damage Control - Lynn Van Dorn image

DNF at 38%

I normally don't rate my DNF books.

BUT.

I read almost 40%, and it is a LOOOOOT, considering that this book has over 500 pages. So, I dare.

And...I'll make an exception for this book:

1. THERE ARE SO MANY 5 stars reviews that my lonely rating won't spoil things.
2. Just consider it as a different opinioin.
3. It is horrible I want to rate it and give it 0.5 star. But then I have to read at least 50%.
NO FUCKING WAY. You have to pay me for it.
4. Now I know there are not only FAKE NEWS. There are also FAKE REVIEWS. I suspect that...
5. Who am I to judge someone's taste?!



This book is LONG. It has over 500 pages. But it is not 500 pages of plot. It is over 500 pages of UNNECESSARY DETAILS. This book is OVERLOADED with unessential details. Long-winded became a different meaning. LONG-WINDED became a form. It is [b:Damage Control|36070211|Damage Control|Lynn Van Dorn|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1503934425s/36070211.jpg|57653957].

Unappealing characters, looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong uninteresting dialogues, full of boring details, amateurish writing, SIMPLY AWFUL.


I'm not going to read anything by this author again in my life.


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NO RECOMMENDATION from me.



***ARC provided by the publisher to GBR in exchange for an honest review.